The stout Dwarves of Middle-earth are the oldest race in Middle-earth and are known for their steadfast determination, hearty strength, and commitment to all things found in the world's deep places. Created by Aulë, master of crafts, his gift of creation is passed down to the Dwarves. The Dwarven race is as hard as stone and as cunning as any Elf in the crafting of swords, armor, or precious heirlooms. However, Aulë created the Dwarves in defiance of Illuvatar and was thus forced to make the Dwarves sleep until after Illuvatar's First Children, the Elves, were awoken on Middle-earth.
Living a secretive life in their homes beneath the great mountains, Dwarves are expert miners and workers of stone and metal, capable of crafting with great strength and renown, along with unparalleled beauty and intricacy. Unwavering and proud, the Dwarves fight for the Free Peoples of Middle-earth (although an ages-old mistrust still exists between Dwarves and Elves), emerging from their deep dwellings to bring their strength and fierce combat skills to bear in the battle against the Darkness in the East. Dwarves stand on average approximately 4½ to 5 feet high and typically live long lives of 250 years or more.
The Dwarves are excellent warriors and master craftsmen, displaying unique toughness in battle and the ability to create great things. Ever secretive, Dwarves oft begin their adventure in the soaring halls carved from beneath Ered Luin (The Blue Mountains), a land steeped in history and natural beauty near the western shores of Middle-earth.